The 49ers Shouldn’t Consider Trading or Releasing Jimmy Garoppolo

The 49ers Shouldn’t Consider Trading or Releasing Jimmy Garoppolo

By all accounts, the San Francisco 49ers had a tremendous season with a window wide open to win a Super Bowl despite their bad loss in Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs. The team is young and talented, but now in the aftermath of their Super Bowl loss, questions seems to be focused on their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo is bearing most of the blame for their loss to the Chiefs after a bad 4th quarter performance, but it’s not just the blame he’s getting, Garoppolo is getting talks of being replaced by the public after just three years as the starter.

With the 49ers being where they are, many believe they can’t win a championship with Garoppolo at quarterback. That he’s to limited and relies heavily on a defense, running game and a tremendous head coach in Kyle Shanahan. Some even bringing up that Tom Brady, a 49ers fan growing up and a free agent this offseason, should be signed by the 49ers to win a Super Bowl with this San Francisco team. This chatter about Garoppolo is a far cry from where we were with him just three years ago.

Before Garoppolo became the starter after he was traded from the New England Patriots to the 49ers, San Francisco was sitting at 1-10 until Garoppolo was put in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, helping them to a 15-14 victory. This was the beginning of a 5-game winning streak to close the season for the 49ers and Garoppolo finished the season undefeated while throwing for 1,560 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, completing 67% of his passes, and a 96.2 passer rating. Things looked good for Garoppolo. He was heralded as the new face of the league and the next big thing while being compared a lot to his former mentor, Tom Brady.

The 49ers signed Garoppolo to a massive 5-year deal worth up to $137.5 million. Unfortunately, 2018 saw Garoppolo suffer a torn ACL in Week 3, costing him his season. Despite that, Garoppolo came back to put up a real solid year in 2019 for San Francisco throwing 27 touchdown passes, completing 69% of his throws, and achieving a 102.0 passer rating. San Francisco won 13 games this year all with Garoppolo as the starter which puts his overall record in San Francisco at 19-5. While he wasn’t great in the postseason, he was still their quarterback on the road to the Super Bowl. So, what’s the rush now to get rid of him?

Due to the way his contract is structured, the 49ers can release or trade him before April 1st, but they really don’t have a reason to. Finding a quarterback is one of the hardest things to do in sports. If San Francisco somehow gets rid of Garoppolo, there is no guarantee the next guy will step in and be better. Especially compared to what Garoppolo has already done. With the talk that the 49ers should sign Brady, we just got to ask why would the 49ers let a 28-year old potential decade long quarterback who has done nothing but win so far for their organization and just helped them get to a Super Bowl, would replace him for maybe one year of Brady? Even if Brady is the best quarterback ever, the move wouldn’t make any sense.

Garoppolo had a bad 4th quarter in Super Bowl LIV, which is a shame because for 3 quarters he outperformed the eventual MVP of the game, Patrick Mahomes. However, if we are going to say the 49ers should replace him because he lost a Super Bowl, then the Los Angeles Rams should’ve looked for a new quarterback after Jared Goff had a terrible performance in their Super Bowl loss the season before. Which would’ve been insane to suggest. Garoppolo has been solid and consistent so far for the 49ers, and for franchise quarterbacks, that is enough to win you a Super Bowl.

Andy Reid’s Legacy and Where He Stands

Andy Reid’s Legacy and Where He Stands

We all know Andy Reid is one of the greats in this era, but now we have to start considering him as an all-time best. Andy Reid has been 0-6 in conference championship games leading up to this superbowl win, which might I add had to be his greatest achievement of all.

Reid has always been focused on the people around him. He deflected all talk about his legacy leading up to Super Bowl LIV by saying it was about the team. But Reid’s players did not shy away from how important it was to them to win it for Big Red.

Patrick Mahomes said after the game “ He’s one of the best coaches of all time, he already was”.

Reid was already considered one of the greats of his era before winning the Super Bowl, but his legacy was complicated by numerous playoff losses in occasionally baffling fashion. The Super Bowl win removes the butfrom Reid’s coaching legacy. Now with the trophy in hand and a ring to come, we can look at just where Reid fits among the all-time greats.

Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, and John Madden coached for 10 seasons. Reid has 10 division titles. He already has 21 years as a head coach under his (large) belt, and Reid has made the playoffs in 15 of those 21 seasons. He has more total wins than Madden and Lombardi combined. He has won more playoff games than every coach in NFL history except Bill Belichick, Don Shula, and Tom Landry. Reid has made only two Super Bowls, but he has made seven conference championship games, or one every three seasons he has been a coach.

Reid’s turnaround in Kansas City was remarkable for its speed, totality, and flexibility. He inherited a dark situation in Kansas City when he took over in 2013. The year before, the Chiefs went 2-14 and allegations arose that the front office had wiretapped phones in the Chiefs headquarters to spy on coaches. In December 2012, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed Kasandra Perkins, the mother of his child, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and shot himself in the head in front of general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel. With the organization at rock bottom, owner Clark Hunt let Pioli and Crennel go and hired Reid, who had just been fired after 130 wins in 14 years with the Eagles.

If Andy Reid is not one of the all-time greats, he will be in the coming years with this lethal Kansas City team especially with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Hats off to the guy whose IMO was someone who can never win the big game, well ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to Andrew Walter Reid your superbowl 54 winning coach, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see him in this type of game.. Well done Andy, Well done!!

Future of Tom Brady in New England is Looking Bleak

Future of Tom Brady in New England is Looking Bleak

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Gas was added onto the fire that is the future of Tom Brady and his whereabouts in 2020. For the first time in 20 years, the future Hall-of-Famer can choose his destination and it seems he will have some options. Last weekend, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that the Patriots are willing to pay Brady $30 million a year for possibly two seasons. After two decades of paying significantly less than market value, New England is finally ready to pay Brady his due worth. The problem is that in doing so, it might have sealed the deal that Brady will sign elsewhere.

The Michigan alum has never cared about the money. He’s willingly taken reduced salaries in order to help free up money to spend on other weapons to improve the team. There’s no way that Brady, who will be 43 years old by the time the 2020 season starts, will strictly sign with the team that offers him the most money.

The Patriots’ willingness to pay Brady that much money should seal the deal that their franchise quarterback will suit up for another team next season. The Patriots don’t just need help at the quarterback position. Their wide receivers outside of Julian Edelman were extremely inconsistent and rarely on the same page as their quarterback. Rob Gronkowski was sorely missed as Brady rarely utilized the tight ends, a position he’s relied upon the last few seasons for major production. The offensive line struggled mightily at protecting the 42-year-old last season, which doesn’t bode well for 2020. With almost every offensive position needing some sort of upgrade, paying Brady $30 million per season won’t allow for other positions to be addressed, thus a repeat of 2019 could very well be in store. At this point, the Patriots need Tom Brady more than Tom Brady needs the Patriots.

So, if not the Patriots then who? Two teams are emerging as perfect fits for Brady. Adam Schefter reported last weekend that the Las Vegas Raiders would be interested in pursuing Brady if he doesn’t re-sign with New England. The Raiders have the pieces on offense in place to make a run at the playoffs. Josh Jacobs was outstanding in his first year, Darren Waller is the perfect body type at tight end that Brady loves, and Tyrell Williams is a big bodied receiver that can make plays down the field. The Raiders offensive line last season was the best in the NFL in terms of allowing the least amount of quarterback hits, surrendering just 52.

Mar 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General overall view of Oakland Raiders helmet and NFL official Wilson Duke football at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the Las Vegas Blvd. on the Las Vegas strip. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The other team is the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bolts have already parted ways with franchise quarterback Philip Rivers, opening the door for Brady to slide right in. Similar to the Raiders, the Chargers have a ton of weapons already in place, including: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa and Derwin James. The big question will be whether the Chargers can retain both Austin Ekeler and Hunter Henry, both of whom would be perfect compliments to Brady’s skillset.

What makes both the Chargers and Raiders situations even more tempting for Brady is that both organizations are trying to make a big splash in their new territory. The Chargers are desperate to build a fan base in Los Angeles, something that’s been a lot harder than most NFL owners thought it would be when they approved a second team to inhabit Los Angeles. Opening up their new shared stadium with the Rams, the Chargers need a prominent superstar to point to and have their fans latch onto.

Photo courtesy: Chargers.com

In the case of the Raiders, they are moving their franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas and while they haven’t had much trouble establishing some excitement around the city’s newest franchise, the Raiders need to keep their fans coming back. The best way to do that is by putting a winning team on the field. No better example of the city embracing a winner better than the city’s NHL team, who’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals hooked the entire region and has made a city built in the desert obsessed about a sport played on ice. Jon Gruden’s affinity for Brady can’t be ignored as well, as the Raiders, after losing star receiver Antonio Brown last summer, could look to bring in another superstar to kick off their new era in Sin City.

An important factor to note is that with the Raiders and Chargers opening up new stadiums, it could give Brady leverage in implementing his TB12 workout centers in whichever city he decides to play. The TB12 centers have been the main source of treatment for many Patriots players and that could continue in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas, as I’m sure both organizations would be more than willing to accommodate Brady.

There’s no telling where the six-time Super Bowl champion could land in 2020. Brady has stated that he is “open-minded” about free agency and it is unknown what his main priorities are. If his biggest goal is still to win another Lombardi Trophy, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Patriots are the least desirable option Brady currently has.  

Kyle Shanahan Can’t Defeat His BigGame Demons

Kyle Shanahan Can’t Defeat His BigGame Demons

Did the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super bowl or did Kyle Shanahan give it to them? We can go on and on about who was to blame for the San Francisco 49ers loss in Super Bowl 54 Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs. Lots of factors played into it, and of course will give the credit to Patrick Mahomes and company. But the guy who should be at the head of the blame game table belongs to the head coach. Shanahan has now been on the wrong end of two of the biggest comebacks in Super Bowl history. He was the offensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons debacle where they blew a 28-3 loss to the New England Patriots, and the Falcons have still never recovered. People said he got to conservative and didn’t do enough to win when New England grabbed momentum. Super Bowl 54 played out the same way.

Let’s start with clock management. Right before the half, the 49ers defense had gotten Mahomes and the Chiefs to punt the ball. With all three timeouts left, Shanahan decided let’s not use them. What was he saving them for? He had over a minute left on the clock to make something happen. Jimmy Garoppolo had been dominant in the two minute offense all year. So why all of a sudden change up what made you successful? They wound up throwing a deep ball to Tight End George Kittle, but was called back for a questionable offensive pass interference. After that Shanahan said he was content going into the half tied at 10. Even his GM John Lynch was showing signaling for Shanahan to call for a timeout. What does that tell you?

Not having the confidence in his offense was on display when his team had momentum and on a fourth and two, he decided to kick a field goal to go up 13-10 rather than going for it. His running attack had been thriving for the game and they had two very reliable backs in Raheem Moster and Tevin Coleman, not to mention a strong, and likely best fullback in the game in Kyle Juszcyk. Even doing trickery with Deebo Samuel would’ve been wise. The 49ers had plenty of options. So why not go for it and keep the ball in your offenses hands rather than give it back to Mahomes and keep Kansas City in the game? You had a chance to end it early, but instead you kept the Chiefs in the game.

RUN! RUN! RUN! That should’ve been the advice Shanahan should’ve been giving his offense. Instead as the running attack had done well all game, he put the ball in Garappolo’s hands. I thought he could handle it, but didn’t think Jimmy G had to even throw it. He didn’t play his best game and when the score was 20-17, Mostert got a five yard run on first down and instead of continuing to dominate on the ground and chew up more clock, and he elected to let Garoppolo throw it. Incomplete passes would only stop the clock and let Mahomes have his moment. The last two drives were a disaster for the 49ers. By the time Shanahan had confidence in his quarterback, the team lost all momentum. Two weeks ago, in the NFC Championship game, against the Green Bay Packers the run worked. So why all of a sudden are you jumping off of something that was helping?

Many other reasons unfolded, such as the 3rd and 15 completion against the stacked Niners defense, or Garoppolo missing Emanuel Sanders wide open at the end of game. Missed tackles played a role for the Niners defense too. You can also blame the refs for plenty of missed calls. But the one truth remains, and that’s Kyle Shanahan once again chocked away another Super Bowl. The 49ers will be back, but can this guy be the leader to a championship? We shall see.

The Curious Case of Andy Reid’s Legacy

The Curious Case of Andy Reid’s Legacy

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Hall of Fame talk has been the hot topic the past few weeks. It started with Eli Manning announcing his retirement last week, which immediately fired up the conversation of whether Manning should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  This week, that hall of fame debate landed on Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Many different outlets and talk shows have debated on Reid’s candidacy the past few weeks, with the question focusing on whether he needs this Super Bowl to cement his place in Canton. This shouldn’t even be a discussion. The veteran head coach has already cemented his place among the elites and the outcome on Sunday should have no bearing on his Hall of Fame status.

Reid’s regular season record is impeccable, boasting a career 207-128 record, owning the seventh most wins in NFL history. The 61-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down and has the chance to pass Paul Brown and Curly Lambeau to move into fifth place all-time with only 20 more wins. Moving into fourth place isn’t out of the question either if the Chiefs head honcho wants to stick around with his stud young quarterback Patrick Mahomes, as Reid needs 43 wins to catch the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach.

Continuing to look at the totality of Reid’s career, he made more conference championship game appearances than he missed out on the playoffs completely. In his 21-years as a head coach, the Los Angeles native made seven conference championships while missing the playoffs just six times. Reid has been the model of consistency as he’s had a losing season just three times in his career, with the last coming back in 2012. On average, an Andy Reid coached team wins just under 10 games per season.

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

More impressive than the amount of wins the two-time head coach has racked up has been his ability to turn teams around quickly. It’s hard enough to turn around one losing franchise (ask Browns, Lions or Buccaneers fans), but Reid has done so twice. Inheriting a Philadelphia Eagles team that went 3-13 the year prior, Reid went 5-11 in his first season in 1999 before breaking through with an 11-5 record in year two. During his 14-years in the City of Brotherly Love, Reid amassed 130 wins and constant playoff appearances, missing the playoffs altogether just five times.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs were a mess under Romeo Crennel, finishing in last place in the AFC West two years in a row, including going 2-14 in 2012. Reid jumped right in, turning the Chiefs into a playoff team in the span of a few months as the Chiefs went 11-5 in Reid’s first year. In his seven years as head coach in Kansas City, the Chiefs never had a losing season and just once missed out on the playoffs. Reid had most of this success with Alex Smith, who never was able to fully put it all together in San Francisco.

In an era where the rules are geared towards scoring and the quarterback position has become the most important in all of sports, Reid has shown the ability time and time again to win with pretty much anyone under center. In Philadelphia back in 2006 when Donovan McNabb went down late in the year with an injury, Reid was able to ride Jeff Garcia all the way to the playoffs and win a playoff game over the New York Giants. He was able to do it again four years later, winning the NFC East with the combination of Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb at quarterback. Fast forward to his time with the Chiefs, Reid was able to rattle off five consecutive winning seasons with Smith at quarterback, despite the former No. 1 overall pick just having one winning season with the 49ers. Reid was also able to muster the most out of his new franchise signal caller, helping Smith make the only three Pro Bowls of his career.

BRYNN ANDERSON / AP

The biggest detractors of Reid’s career will point to his postseason failures. Whether it was the three straight NFC Championship game losses with the Eagles in the early 2000s or losing at home to the New England Patriots last season, Reid has continuously been unable to break through and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. While his 2-5 record in championship games isn’t ideal, look at how many big games Reid had to win in order to get to that stage.

Andy Reid’s career has been extremely successful and when it’s all said and done, he will go down as one of the best regular season coaches in NFL history. His accomplishments up to this point speak for themselves as he’s in rarified air within the coaching ranks. One game can’t take away 21-years of constant success. So no, this game doesn’t have any impact on Andy’s legacy. Win or lose, Reid is still a Hall of Famer.

Eli Manning Belongs in the Hall of Very Good, Not the Hall of Fame

Eli Manning Belongs in the Hall of Very Good, Not the Hall of Fame

While Eli Manning is one of just five QB in Super Bowl history to win multiple MVP Awards,
his inability to be consistent deserves to keep him out of Canton.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Eli Manning is calling it a career. After an illustrious 16-year career that saw him hoist two Lombardi Trophies, the New Orleans native is finally hanging it up. The biggest question moving forward is whether Manning will have his own bust in Canton, Ohio, and become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While many can point to not only the two Super Bowls but the two Super Bowl MVPs he’s won, the overall statistics and eye test bear out that Manning just wasn’t consistent enough to earn the Hall of Fame honor.  

An important parameter to set is that statistical comparisons to players already in the Hall of Fame aren’t relevant. The game is extremely different than it was 30, 20 and even 10 years ago. Offensive numbers, especially quarterback numbers, are more inflated than they’ve ever been. For fair and proper context, you have to view Eli and every offensive player only in the era that they played in. 

Looking back on Eli’s career, he never achieved more than just a sliver of eliteness. His embarking legacy will be ruining the Patriots perfect season that was highlighted by David Tyree’s helmet catch in 2007. That is a lasting image that will never be forgotten. Following it up four years later and besting Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for a second time was equally as impressive. But eight games isn’t enough to boost an otherwise average career.

During his 14-years as the full-time starting quarterback, Eli was named to the Pro Bowl just four times and was rarely at the top of single-season passing leaderboards. Just once was Manning in the top 10 for completion percentage, finishing ninth in 2010 as he completed 62.9% of his passes. Manning was top 10 in passing yards per season six different times throughout his career, with his high watermark coming in 2011 when he was fourth. 

In terms of touchdown passes per season, Manning finished in the top 10 eight times, but also never was higher than fourth. Eli led the league twice in interceptions thrown while also finishing in the top 5 four other times. Finally, in terms of yards per attempt, Eli had just two top 10 finishes.

Those stats exemplify that more than anything else, Eli was an average to above-average quarterback. Rarely did he reach the pinnacle of elite quarterback play and never was able to assert himself as one of the top quarterbacks during his time. This is further highlighted by his dead even 117-117 record as a starter and zero All-Pro honors.  

In a league that gears their rules towards scoring, in essence making the quarterback position the most impactful and important in all of sports, the Giants were only able to make the playoffs six times, not winning a single playoff game outside of those two Super Bowl runs.  For reference, Eli has played in 12 playoff games throughout his career, less than his brother Peyton (27), Drew Brees (16), Tom Brady (41), Ben Roethlisberger (21) and Aaron Rodgers (18) while playing in just one more playoff game than Philip Rivers. Compared to the true greats at the quarterback position, Eli falls short yet again. 

What makes any hall of fame so special is that it celebrates the best of the best. The elite. The greatest to ever do it. After all, it’s not the hall of really good or pretty good. It exists for only those who belong in the company of immortality. Eli had two of the biggest moments in Super Bowl history. He slew Goliath. That is something that will never be taken away from him. The problem is that the Hall of Fame isn’t about a few great moments. It’s about a career filled with consistent, elite play. Outside of sharing the first three letters, Eli and elite haven’t had much in common.